UNION CITY AND BEYOND – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez stood before a modest crowd on Monday morning at the Union City Day Care around the corner from where he grew up on Hudson Avenue. He was flanked by some of the most powerful women both in Hudson County and the state, including State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and State Sen. Barbara Buono, and their speeches were made over the sounds of children playing (and crying) in the background.
Menendez is currently running for reelection against State Sen. Robert Kyrillos (R-13), and was incited to hold the press conference when he heard Kyrillos make an appearance on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show and speak about women’s equality issues.
The choice of venue was appropriate because, as Menendez said, his children went there. But moreso, he added, because of the issues he came to address.
“It seems fitting and appropriate as we talk about the challenges for women, and the differences between myself and my opponent,” Menendez said. “Women are at the crucible of all of these challenges, and in our society they’re facing these enormous challenges while providing enormous leadership.”
The challenges he referred to were, amongst many listed, raising a family while trying to balance work, care giving to other family members, which makes them the core of families everywhere.
Menendez also emphasized the gravity of the election beyond the Senate, reminding those in attendance that they ultimately choose Supreme Court Justices, who make the law that affects women.
“This election is much, much bigger than the reelection of one person to the United States Senate,” Menendez went on. “It is about whether women will continue to move forward with the progress we have made in our country, or slip backwards because of Republicans’ extremist agenda.”
For more details on the event, read this weekend’s edition of the Union City Reporter. -- Gennarose Pope